Welcome to Fashion Week, everyone! We'll have our usual backstage shots soon, but first: a bit about casting. This year, we studied up under the tutelage of Aurora James, designer behind footwear line Brother Vellies and winner of the 2015 CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award (what a title!). Her approach is a bit unique: “In my shows, it’s really about seeing girls who remind me of the people that I know and who inspire me from traveling,” she said in between fittings at her South Street Seaport boutique. “It’s really hard because there aren't that many models that all look different from the 'in-demand' looks. It would be very easy for me to cast a show with all blond girls, but my customers aren’t all blond. Blonds inspire me, but that's not the only look I'm into,” To get the right mix, she notes, “You have to see a lot of girls. We saw maybe close to 150 and we cast 15,” Unfortunately not every girl made the cut—but it's about the journey, not the destination, right? So to showcase Aurora's approach, here are a few of the women who dropped by before her show yesterday. This is Into The Gloss, so we also asked for beauty tips. Enjoy!
'I am Irish, Puerto Rican, Native American, and Black—it’s a mouthful. It takes me like 30-45 minutes to detangle my hair. Then my emphasis is on conditioner and a diffuser. All that I do is wash it, brush through it with my head upside down, and then scrunch it with my head upside down. Then I flip it back over, shake it out, and then I diffuse it upside down again. I leave a little bit of DevaCurl Ultra Creamy Daily Conditioner in it from the shower, but that’s it for product. Otherwise it’s too much. I have a lot of hair, but it’s very fine, so it can get ruined easily,”
'This is Fashion Week #3 for me—it's been pretty chill. This time, I’ve quit smoking and I’m trying to pay attention to myself. I just discovered vitamin E and C oil–life changing! I got a vial and I put two drops on, let it dry, and then put a drop in my moisturizer. For cleansing, I changed from using soap to using camellia oil. You can take off all of your makeup with it and it really cleans. But in the morning, I use micellar water because it’s not as harsh and doesn’t dry my face out,”
'For my hair I use Wen's Sweet Almond Mint Treatment for my roots–it’s a spray from Duane Reade. It helps with thicker roots. To wash it, I use keratin shampoo and conditioner—and I actually use keratin oil my brows, too. For makeup, I always switch mascaras because I don't have any lashes. I’ll use Maybelline and Covergirl–the Lashblast. My skin shade is a hard match, so I mix an e.l.f. Concealer with Covergirl TruBlend Foundation to get my true color,”
'I think my eyes are my beauty thing. I love doing thick eyeliner and mascara—Ugh! I love mascara! Plus dark lip colors. But after a long day, my Clarisonic is my best friend. After you use it, your pores are completely cleansed. My mom is so into skincare, so she makes sure [I take care of mine]. She tells me to definitely do the Clarisonic once a day. I do it at night and then in morning I’ll rinse my face or just take a warm cloth and pat it down. I use Kate Somerville’s moisturizer because it’s really light but it really moisturizes. I can’t have anything really heavy or my pores will get clogged. This is kind of a secret, but La Mer is really good. Too expensive for me though,”
'I’m a minimalist. I’m all about Marie Kondo and being a bit of a tomboy. Everything needs to be multipurpose if possible. One of them is Ren—I use their Rose Moisture Defence Oil. I use it as a moisturizer, I use it as a highlighter, I use it as a lip balm... It’s in a premium price range, so you want to be able to use it for everything. I'll even mix it with lipsticks to make a blush. Then, surprisingly, & Other Stories is great for powders and compressed things. I use their eyeshadow palettes for contouring, for blushes, for eyeshadow, like everything. Eyeliner, even,”
Ninja Singh'I'm from India, near Delhi. I haven't used soap on my face in the past 10 years. I just use the topical Hindu therapeutical cream and coconut oil on my face at night as a night cream. I wake up and wash my face with cold water and then apply sunscreen. I like Neutrogena the most of all. During Fashion Week, I have really dark undereyes when I’m not sleeping, so I use a primer from Urban Decay and I conceal with the PhotoReady Concealer from Revlon–the Medium tone. I use a brow pencil from Urban Decay. It’s really good and I think it’s really good for brown skin. I don’t know why,”
—as told to ITG
Photographed by Tom Newton.
It's the most wonderful time of the year: Catch up on ITG's Fashion Week coverage in The Backstage. And read Aurora James' very own Top Shelf here.